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Why Can’t Everyone Have Homes In Good Locations?

Posted by Jayson Ang on March 9, 2024
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Ms. Lim, a university student, and her significant other, Mr. Lee, believe that the geographical location of their future home is fundamentally important since they have no plans to purchase an automobile.

“Our preference is for a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat within a comfortable walking distance of an MRT station,” she stated.

Moreover, they desire to reside in close proximity to their parents who live either in Bedok or Jurong East. They have made attempts to apply for flats in these areas but unfortunately, their efforts have been unsuccessful thus far.

Their preferences align with those of several other young couples who have previously expressed to the media that they won’t compromise on certain factors when applying for a BTO flat, such as being near their parents and having easy access to public transportation.

In the most recent National Day Rally, Prime Minister Ng Chun Pin announced the introduction of a new “Plus” model to categorize public housing projects starting from the latter half of the next year. This will lead to the gradual discontinuation of the existing mature and non-mature estate classification system.

Under this new categorization, buyers of Plus and Prime flats — located in more sought-after locations — will receive increased subsidies from the Housing Development Board (HDB). However, they will also be subject to stricter regulations, including a minimum occupation period of 10 years. Any additional subsidies received by applicants will need to be repaid to HDB upon resale, among other restrictions.

Young couples who had previously spoken to the media about not compromising on certain attributes when applying for a BTO flat, such as proximity to parents and connectivity to transport nodes, might find these changes particularly relevant, especially those eyeing flats next to Kallang MRT station.

Dr. Lim Jia Hui, regional director for Singapore at PropertyGuru Group, shared, “These enhanced measures aim to promote fairness and discourage the perception of treating HDB flats as investment opportunities.”

He continued, “We should allow this novel reclassification system to fully unfold and share our insights via government channels when the time is right.”

Specialists in the field noted that it would be unfeasible to continually construct new homes within existing housing estates to accommodate everyone close to their parents, given the scarcity of land.

Can the Government not build higher flats and augment the flat supply in mature estates?

This proposition, though attractive, involves uprooting residents from current flats to pave way for newer ones. Moreover, building skyscraping flats also has its restrictions, the experts elucidated.

“There are boundaries to how tall our flats can be. We must take into account factors like aircraft flight paths, wind circulation, and the shadow cast by towering structures on shorter buildings,” advised Mr. Tan Wei Ming from Huttons Asia.

Dr. Lim from PropertyGuru highlighted other constraints such as increased construction expenses with taller structures and potential traffic jams.

“The Master Plan’s vision is to establish job clusters and enhance the allure of suburban regions, akin to Tengah,” stated Dr. Lim.

He added, “The demand for well-established and desirable locations is endless. Therefore, balancing this demand while ensuring viability will be a prime focus in the construction of HDB estates.”

Should You Buy, Sell or Wait?

If you’re reading this, you must be trying to figure out the best course of action right now: is it the right time to buy or sell?

It’s difficult to give an exact answer since everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you.

I can bring you a wealth of on-the-ground experience and a data-driven approach to provide clarity and direction. From beginners to experienced investors, our top-down, objective approach will help you on your real estate journey.

I can help you by:

  1. Offering Strategic Real Estate Advice – I can help create a comprehensive plan to guide you through your property journey.
  2. Connecting Your Home with the Perfect Buyers – Through stunning visuals, an effective communication strategy, and an in-depth knowledge of the market, we’ll ensure your home is presented in the best possible way to fulfill your goals.

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